Emergency preparedness, games & writing

25 Apr

Tonight, I’m working on book 2 of the series I’m writing.  I had to do something so I quit tweeking at the first one, and once it’s finally edited, I’m going to solicit publishers.  Yes, I know that’s the wrong way, but at the time, I had the time to write, a story to tell, and it was screaming to get out of me.  So…I wrote.  Everybody who had tried reading it so far has liked it.  Greg is waiting for the final edit before he reads it, I think sometimes he’s afraid to read it for fear it might be awful or he hates it.

In the meantime, that’s what I do when I’m in the mood…write.  I’ve discovered a few things too.  I’m more likely to write late at night.  I’m not going to write when I’m seriously worried about anything.  If I’m stressed, I’m apt to play silly games and wind down before I try to focus on writing.  What kind of games?  I’ll confess–it’s Facebook games.  The best wind down games for me are Mahjong Dimensions, Collapse, and Bejeweled Blitz.  All of those are 1 minute games.

I play some others but they’ve grown rather tiresome: Farmville, Zoo World, Cafe World, Mouse Hunt, Pet World and Yoville.  When they start being more work than working a job, they aren’t fun.  When game developers start changing the rules, it also isn’t so fun.  I had played other games, but I’ve dropped those, and just accept “neighbor” requests and the like for friends who do enjoy them, like all of the aquarium games.  I just don’t have the time and energy to use on them anymore, or maybe my need for diversion is not as intense.  I’m not sure how some of these people have any kind of a life except the games on Facebook though.  I have people on my friend list who must play well over twenty different games, all of which can easily eat an hour a day.  It amazes me!

On the food front, we dined on leftovers served with thick pan fried potatoes.  It was my answer to “I am not turning on the oven today.”  I sliced them (they were small reds) into about 4 slices per potato, laid them out in the skillet, and sprinkled them with Greek seasoning and browned them.  Perfect with the Greek style chicken & veggies.  I ate one of my horded gingerbread biscotti with my coffee this evening and enjoyed every coffee-drenched bite too!  I really should attempt to master making biscotti, it is the one thing I have seldom tried and never succeeded in making, and it shouldn’t be that hard.

On the camping front, I did order two inexpensive backpacks that should be more comfortable than the ones we currently have.  I had Greg put on the one he has, with the normal emergency load it carries, and there is no way he could walk two hours carrying that thing.  It rides entirely wrong on him.  I guess I can’t complain, it wasn’t purchased to do that anyhow, but rather as a pack to use on day hikes and grocery store walks, etc.  It’s fine for that stuff, without much bulk or weight, on either one of us.  With about 20# of stuff in it, it’s useless on him.  MM has one identical to it that I gave her with some emergency supplies.  Emergency preparedness is essential when you live in hurricane country!   It is something I’ve been advocating on the air and on our website for ages.  Check out the pages for it.

There’s a LOT of companies out there that sell emergency preparedness stuff.  There are a lot of books out there that tell you how to do it.  I’ll tell  you, just like most real experts will, that beyond having a few essential items, true survival is really all about mental preparedness.  That means thinking about those “what if’s” and practicing scenarios in your head, so that when the what if scenario really does happen, you are mentally prepared to figure out what your next course of action really should be.  I do some things people think I am a bit nuts for.  I have life jackets in my closet, one for each person and one for each dog.  (Cats, sorry to say, were told to talk nice to the dogs!) You wonder why?  I live surrounded by levees that protect me from water, and I’m talking BIG water.  Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River are neither one to take lightly.  If something should go wrong, I may have little to no time to prepare.  If storm surge should ever hit here, same thing…no time.  Those life jackets are to buy us time, because even though we can all swim, how well can we swim in debris filled water while terrified?  Perhaps in the dark, with howling wind or rain?  I jokingly refer to it as “real flood insurance.”  At least it’s less expensive than “flood insurance” is–I spent under $100 for all of them, and they are good for at least a decade since they are protected from deterioration by UV rays from the sun.

Now you wonder who I actually bought the cheap new backpacks from?  I got them from Be Prepared.com They aren’t expensive ones, and a friend had ordered one from them last year.  Not super well made, I think I can repair any ripping out seams, and I could afford to buy them from this company.  Two internal frame packs, and including shipping, it came in just about $50.  I bought one like the one the friend had, and one less expensive one to take a look at.  If nothing else, I think they will be great additions to the camp gear, able to carry our clothes, etc.  I’m a bit out of shape to consider real backpacking, but I should work on that too.

And moving right along to camping, a few weeks ago, I came across this blog from a young couple who are bicycling around the world, camping most of the time as they do so.  They have already been on the road for over a year, and the blog is an excellent read–it’s the ONLY blog I regularly read and always wonder what is going to be in the next installment.  They have spotty internet connections now that they are in Eastern Europe, but do take a look at it.  I spent an entire weekend enthralled as I read through their first year’s journey.  Over the year, they have improved their blogging immensely, and I’m sure they’ve learned a number of other skills as well.  I highly recommend this blog as a good read as you share Tyler and Tara’s journey with them.

One thing I have been advocating quite loudly, on the air and on our website, is emergency preparedness. It isn’t about an “end-of-the-world” mentality, it is about common sense. We have seen natural disasters in the USA strike over and over again, from Katrina to snow storms, leaving people on their own with no help immediately available. Protect yourself and your family, as well as the lives of your potential rescuers, by being prepared to take care of yourself. No one should be without the essentials for a minimum of THREE DAYS.
It isn’t just about fires, floods, snow, rain, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes. It’s about job lay offs, furloughs, unexpected financial woes too. Even emergency evacuations due to chemical spills can cause problems. It can be a neighbor, friend or relative who loses their job or home. Be prepared, for everyone’s sake.


One Response to “Emergency preparedness, games & writing”

  1. Samuel Durniok April 26, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    Your site was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for more info on this just sa few days ago.

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